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R. Kelly Struggles To Make Bail, ‘Really Doesn’t Have Any Money At This Point,’ Lawyer Says
The R&B singer is also apparently reportedly behind on child support and rent for his Chicago music studio.
Singer R. Kelly, one of the best-selling music artists of all time, remained jailed over the weekend as confidants make arrangements to pay the $100,000 bail needed to free him as he awaits trial for aggravated sexual abuse, his lawyer said.
The 52-year-old R&B star had hoped to walk out of the 7,000-inmate Chicago jail, but defense attorney Steve Greenberg told The Associated Press in a phone interview Sunday that coordination of the payment is complicated. He added that Kelly could be released as early as Monday or Tuesday.
“He has to rely on others acting on his behalf,” Greenberg said. “And it’s just not that easy — because Kelly’s in jail.”
Additionally, he said Kelly doesn’t "really doesn't have any money at this point,” according to CNN. He blamed mismanagement, “hangers-on" and "bad deals” for his financial issues.
A judge on Saturday set bond at $1 million, requiring the Grammy Award-winning singer to pay 10 percent. Among the conditions of release is that Kelly have no contact with females younger than 18.
In arguing for bail within the singer’s ability to pay, Greenberg told the judge that Kelly wasn’t wealthy despite decades of success creating hit songs.
Greenberg said he had braced for the possibility that bail could be higher than $1 million, but was pleased when Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr. arrived at the amount he did.
That’s not the only money issue being revealed in light of Kelly’s recent arrest. He also allegedly owes more than $169,000 in unpaid child support to his ex-wife as of early February, CNN reports. Greenberg told CNN that Kelly does not have to pay this before getting out of jail. CNN also reports that Kelly owes over $166,000 in unpaid rent for his music studio in Chicago.
Kelly was charged in a grand jury indictment unsealed Friday with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse involving four victims, three of whom were minors.
His arrest came not long after a purported sex tape surfaced, which contains footage of man who appears to be Kelly having sex with a young girl. CNN, which said it's seen the tape, described the video as “clear and explicit,” and stated that it appears to depict the disgraced star having sex with the girl in a living room and a bedroom. In the footage, the victim and the man in the video allegedly refer to her "14-year-old p---y” multiple times. The video also involves urination.
Kelly's arrest also occurred as two new women came forward with their stories of being subjected to sexual misconduct by Kelly when they were teens.
Kelly has been under intense scrutiny after the premiere of Lifetime’s “Surviving R. Kelly” documentary, a six-part series that explored decades of sexual misconduct allegations, including sex with underage girls. Kelly has repeatedly and adamantly denied the accusations. In the past, Greenberg stated that his client “never knowingly had sex with an underage woman, he never forced anyone to do anything, he never held anyone captive, he never abused anyone.”
In 2008, Kelly was of child pornography charges that centered on a graphic video that prosecutors said showed him having sex with a girl as young as 13. That video also involved urination, allegedly. He and the girl allegedly seen with him denied it was them in the 27-minute video, even though witnesses testified it was them. Kelly could have been sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Each count of the new charges carries up to seven years in prison, and the sentences could be served consecutively, making it possible for him to receive up to 70 years.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.